Saturday, November 23, 2013

Elf on the Shelf!

Last year we decided to get the "Elf on the Shelf" book and doll for the girls. He arrived at American Thanksgiving for us so we could take advantage of the whole month of December.

Big Miss thought it was pretty cool and decided that his name should be 'Davis'. She then woke up each morning asking if she could go looking for him.

I had actually heard about this 'Elf' thing a year or so ago and so I started collecting ideas on Pinterest.

Hubby and I actually had some fun thinking up elf mischief!

I have to admit though...there were 2 different nights that we forgot to move him around! So we said that it must have been a good spot for him to watch, so he stayed for another day!!

We have been searching for new ideas for this year…should be interesting!!

Have fun creating your own mischief!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


One Christmas, part of my gift from my boss was some homemade granola!  I had never really been a huge fan of it, but this recipe changed my mind!!

She was kind enough to share it with me and I have been making it ever since!

The ingredients are wholesome and you can substitute your favourites to personalize it.

Harmony Granola

4 cups rolled oats (I use 2 cups reg. oats & 2 cups spelt flakes)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup instant skim milk powder

Add your choice of...
almonds, walnuts, dates, dried cranberries, currants (I usually add 1/2 cup of each)

In a small pot on low heat...

3/4 cup veg. oil (I use a combo of grapeseed oil and coconut oil-coconut oil adds more flavour!)
1 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp milk
3/4 cup honey or maple syrup (I use pure maple syrup-Aunt Jemima won't do!)

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in large bowl and add your nuts, berries etc. Mix well.
2. Warm the wet mixture on low heat, do not let it boil and pour over dry mixture.
3. Spread out on a large cookie sheet, making sure to have it evenly spread so it doesn't burn in thinner parts...especially in the corners!!
4. Cook at 325 F for 20-30 mins, stirring once

Enjoy with your favourite yogurt and berries (or peaches since they are now in season!)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lovin' the Lakeside.....

I am very blessed to have grown up in 'cottage country' in if you asked me about it in high school I would have told you it was a boring town during those long winter months. Now that I have a family of my own, I crave the small town atmosphere and the closeness to the clean water. Don't get me wrong, I love Niagara too, it also has a lot to offer (like a lot less snow and hardly any mosquitos) but I miss my roots!

My husband also comes from a small town in West Virginia with beautiful scenery...I always explain our areas as very similar, I just had more lakes growing up and he had more mountains.

This is the Segwun steamship that still goes
up and down the lake. A must if visiting
the area!

My Mom has remained in Muskoka since my Dad passed away in 2000 and we always enjoy a trip home.  I would have to say that summer is my favourite time to be there....even with the be able to hop in the car and be at the beach in 10 minutes or the boat and enjoy the water.

Little Miss enjoying her first ride...
ready to take the wheel!

Muskoka is actually a region of small lakes and towns that is about 2 hours north of Toronto, Ontario. (Well, 2 hours depends on what day and time of day you are travelling!) Lake Muskoka is the largest in the region (I believe) and probably the most populated as well. It has become 'home' to MANY large cottages (if you can call them that...they are right out of the House and Home Magazines!) There are many summer homes to Hollywood Stars, (Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell, Martin Short, Harry Hamlin & Lisa Rinna) Athletes (NHL players that I know of).

Little Miss and I riding the bow with Grammie
at the helm!

There are a lot of older cottages that go way back, big, old beautiful ones, I think the oldest ones (that are still in great shape) are on 'Millionaires Row', and they aren't even considered 'big' anymore!  There is always a new cottage to spot on the shore when going up the lake to admire...not sure if I'd like mine there or in the sunny south...I think the south, then I can be warm all year long!

Hubby's first boat ride on Lake Muskoka

Muskoka gets a lot of tourism because of our 4 seasons...the colours in the fall are magnificent and bus tours come up from the city for people to see. During the winter time, there are ski hills and snow mobile trails for those that like to play outside in the cold! Plus ice fishing! My Mom and I live about 3 hours apart and she has a few feet of snow right now, we have green grass (although this cold snap is keeping us indoors under the blankets!), this year, overall, has been much milder than the few previous, but I do not envy having to do the shovelling that she has right now!

Fall boating

Thank goodness it's almost the end of January and spring is getting closer...I am dreaming of sandy beaches, waves crashing and the smell of suntan lotion.

We did just get to go the the Atlantic City though...not really ideal in January, but we were there for work. Despite the wind and rolling fog, I convinced Hubby to join me down on the beach for a quick walk. We took our hot drinks and off we went. This is actually the city we met in almost 13 years ago! Through a mutual friend, we were introduced, hit it off and 2 years later we were getting married!

The Revel - the casino/hotel we stayed at for work.

Looking out to the thick fog

Looking down the famous boardwalk

Having a family of my own, I now understand the preciousness of family time and making memories together. I could write pages about the wonderful memories I have of family time by the water, whether it was spring breaks, summer vacations or just a day at the beach with my parents. My parents have imparted in me a love for the water and the desire to spend every possible chance by it. Hubby has come to enjoy water/beach vacations more and more...he especially likes it when there is an umbrella for him to escape under when he starts to get crispy. I am excited to make memories with our girls that they, too, will talk about for years to come. I think we have a great start already!

Now if I could just convince Hubby to buy a place of our own...I would gladly pack up and move for this view every day!

View from our room
Galley Bay, Antigua

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